LEWISBURG, Pa. - Despite having considerably smaller squads than most other competitors at the Patriot League Indoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Bucknell University, the American University men finished fourth and the women finished fifth.
"I'm very satisfied," American Head Coach Matt Centrowitz said. "Both teams improved over last year."
The men's team finished with 61 total points, just 7.75 points behind Bucknell for third place. Navy took home the league title with 177.75 points, beating out Army by just two points.
Individually, senior Matt Seymour (Rockville, Md./Magruder) was named the PL's Track Athlete of the Meet for his performance in the 5000m and 3000m races. Seymour was the highlight for the men. He captured the 5000m title Saturday in a time of 14:34.25 and followed that up with a victory in Sunday's 3000m race, finishing the course in 8:22.14. Also in that race, sophomore Pat MacAdie (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxboro Regional) finished sixth (8:28.71) and Pat Burford (Bellmore, N.Y./John F. Kennedy) captured eighth place (8:33.49).
The men also brought home four second place finishes on the day. Phil Gaeta (Herndon, Va./Oakton) just barely missed out on a league title in the mile run, finishing .02 of a second behind Army's Phil Sakala. Chris Buerger (Groveland, Mass./Pentucket Regional) finished a half second out of first in the 500m, finishing in 1:07.46, while Sean Duffy (Holmes, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) was in the second spot in the 1000m, just .88 out of first. The Distance Medley Relay team of Gaeta, Buerger, Dustin Emrani (Great Neck, N.Y./Great Neck North) and Duffy also finished second, coming in at 10:00.47, which is the fifth-fastest indoor DMR in school history.
The women's team finished fifth, just six points behind Lehigh for fourth place. Bucknell captured the team title with 198 points, while Navy finished second and Army third. The women won each event they entered on the day. Freshman Kelley Taylor (Virginia Beach, Va./Kellam) won the mile run in 4:57.51, and in the process blew away her own personal record in the event by more than two seconds. Keira Carlstrom (Oakton, Va./Oakton) finished second in the mile, just .31 behind Taylor.
In addition, Carlstrom ran the fastest indoor 3000m in school history and set a personal record with a time of 9:43.46, besting the previous school record by .04 of a second.
Meanwhile, sophomore Zaia Wharton (Elkins, W. Va./Elkins) captured the 1000m in a time of 2:56.91, more than a second faster than runner up Margaret Clark of Army. The women's DMR, made up of Taylor, Ashley Dellinger, Whitney McNees (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central) and Carlstrom finished first with a time of 12:05.81, blowing away the competition by nearly 10 seconds. The time is the second-best indoor DMR in school history.
Centrowitz seemed excited about the possibilities for the men's and women's team, both of which lose just one senior and are loaded with young talent.
"We have a great young team and we have our largest freshman class coming in next year," Centrowitz said. "We are just going to get better."